SPONSORED: MADALAH staff and mentors celebrated the launch of the Water Corporation MADALAH Scholarship Program at a function held at the Water Corporation on Monday 19th April 2021.

They were joined by the Hon. Dave Kelly MLA, Minister for Water; Water Corporation CEO, Pat Donovan; Collene Castle, the Water Corporation’s Team Leader Aboriginal Employment and Development Team, as well as members from both the MADALAH and Water Corporation Boards, MADALAH Ambassador Des Headland and MADALAH CEO, Laura Taylor.

The scholarship was created to support students with a keen interest in STEM learning and the water industry and will cover education costs for Years 11 and 12, plus three years of tertiary study.

Scholarship recipients Emmet Hodder Ryan, Talicia Griffin, Skye Carr and Samuel Tucker were all selected due to their interest in engineering, accounting and plumbing.

Marie Taylor, a proud descendant of the Whadjuk/Ballardong Noongar people, gave a wonderful Welcome to Country.

Pat Donovan, CEO of Water Corporation then spoke and announced:

“This is the first of what I hope will be a long line of talented and driven students supported by the Water Corporation MADALAH Scholarship Program.

“The scholarships will complement the knowledge and skills already obtained by these students and lay a foundation for the rest of their lives. And if the planets align, I hope a career at the Water Corporation is on their horizon!”

The new scholarship will support students interested in STEM subjects and the water industry. Photo supplied.

Water Corporation’s Reconciliation Action Plan includes a number of initiatives, including a three-year Graduate Program and an Emerging Indigenous Water Leaders Program.

Water Corporation is excited about these initiatives and hopes to succeed in its plan to increase the number of Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander employees to seven per cent of its total workforce.

Mr Donovan commended the four recipients on their dedication, commitment and hard work and encouraged them to embrace the challenges and opportunities before them.

“Bring a sharp mind and warm heart in all you do”, he said.

The Hon. Dave Kelly thinks this is a fabulous program and feels education is vitally important. He believes the students now have the benefit of their culture, their knowledge and their Elders.

“Thank you MADALAH for the work you have done putting this program together,” he said.

Scholarship recipients and Minister for Water Dave Kelly. Photo supplied.

Emmet Hodder Ryan spoke on behalf of the four recipients, commenting that none of them would be here without MADALAH.

“Thank you MADALAH and Water Corporation for giving us this opportunity,” Ryan said.

Des Headland spoke on behalf of MADALAH, as our Ambassador, about the pride he has in advocating for our program; how proud he is of his son Mason who was a MADALAH graduate in 2020 and is now pursuing a career within Water Corporation as a full-time trainee in 2021.

MADALAH CEO Laura Taylor and Headland then presented Water Corporation with a beautiful glass coolamon as a thank you for their commitment to providing the scholarship recipients with an important pathway to employment and a successful career.

MADALAH looks forward to working alongside Water Corporation to provide more Indigenous students in the future the opportunity for a quality education, and employment-related training.

The launch concluded with a performance by South Summit, a band made up of three MADALAH students and alumni; Josh Trindall a Kamilaroi/Yuin man from Dongara, and Nehemiah Reuben and Isaiah Reuben who are Torres Strait Islanders from Erub Island, and two of their mates that they met through school and university.

MADALAH are very proud of these young men and recently supported the band to produce their first EP.